Microsoft is teaming up with Swiss automation technology company ABB to launch a new electric vehicle (EV) “fast-charging services platform.”

With around 140,000 employees globally, Zurich-based ABB is one of the biggest engineering firms in the world. ABB has offered fast-charging stations for electric cars for some time, but now the Seattle-based software giant will provide its Azure cloud platform to ensure “stability, global scalability and advanced management features,” according to a press release.

The two companies are formally announcing their partnership at a trade fair in Munich that runs from today until October 22. The companies say that together they will harness “machine learning and predictive analytic capabilities” for future projects.

Microsoft has been pushing its cloud credentials of late, with chief executive Satya Nadella announcing back in June that creating “the intelligent cloud platform” would be one of three key investment areas moving forward. And this latest move represents a greater push in that direction.

“Today we live in a mobile-first, cloud-first world, and this is ever apparent in the global electric vehicle market,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft. “Our partnership with ABB aligns to one of our company ambitions to build the intelligent cloud platform, and we look forward to our technology and services becoming a differentiator for ABB’s solutions.”

There has been an increasing focus on the EV industry across the technological spectrum in recent times. Back in February, Samsung acquired the battery pack division of Magna International, an automotive supplier based in Canada. Samsung’s materials and energy subsidiary, Samsung SDI, has been working on lithium-ion battery cell technology with BMW since 2009, and the two companies recently announced an extension to their deal for two EV models — the BMW i8 and i3. Samsung also led a $17 million investment round in Seeo, a California company that develops rechargeable batteries for cars.

With sexy brands such as Tesla betting on electric vehicles and Apple making early moves in the field, as well as long-established automotive firms such as BMW joining in, it’s clear that EV technology has a big future. Recent research from Navigant suggests that revenue generated from EV charging services is set to reach almost $3 billion by 2023, up from $150 million this year.

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